Writing a Methodology Section of Your Dissertation

You will not find too many people who love describing their methodology as part of their thesis or dissertation writing. It is quite difficult, so it comes as no surprise that most students fail to include the most important details of their experiments. As a result, they lose their marks. Some may even have their graduation delayed, until they have created a perfect methodology section. So, it is time to stop and think thoroughly. You are the one who conducted the experiment, and you know everything about it. You have been creative and proficient crafting your analysis and results sections, so why should you be worried about your methods? Unfortunately, the problem with most students is that they cannot simply describe what they have been doing to conduct their experiments. As such, the mere fact that they have done an experiment does not always mean that they can describe it. Besides, if you want other researchers to use your research design and check your results in the future, you will need to go to the very meat of your study. Ultimately, your methods section can become the critical point of your dissertation.

The purpose of your methodology section is to describe, step by step, how you conducted your research. The more detailed you are the better are your chances to prove that the results of your experiment are valid and generalizable. If you are in a trouble, follow our recommendations and make it easier for your own self!

Research Methods

Begin with describing the research design you used in your study. You can use a qualitative, quantitative, or mixed design. Whatever design you choose, it will have implications for your whole experiment.

Describe in Detail

Try your best to incorporate rich details in your writing. You can try to break down the whole process into steps and strategies to make your description more convincing and relevant for the reader.

Do not Hesitate to Explain!

Apart from including much detail, your task is to explain the importance of these details for the reader. Also, do not forget that you must provide solid rationale to justify your choices. You will have to include evidence and reasons why you have selected quantitative, qualitative, or mixed designs. You will have to show that you have thoroughly selected your target sample and its size. 


Your readers expect that you will be honest and fair in your judgments. Thus, it is equally important to discuss the advantages and limitations of your research. What are the limitations of your methods and designs? How do these limitations impact your findings? How can the results of your research be generalizable to other settings? Can the limitations of the methods you have used reduce this generalizability in the future?

Ethical Considerations

Gone are the times when researchers could manipulate their subjects in any way imaginable to your reader. Today you must follow robust ethical guidelines to ensure that your research is acceptable and valid. Provide a thorough analysis of the ethical procedures you used to protect your research subjects. Convince your reader that you have not caused any harm to the people, who have agreed to participate in your experiment.


You cannot reasonably do without appendices. Use them to include any information you believe is important but too burdensome to present it in the body of your dissertation. You may want to include survey and interview questions, raw data, and so on. Just be ready to excel in writing the methodology section of your dissertation!

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